ATMs run dry in Indian states; officials say cash crunch temporary

Subhash Chandra Garg

Subhash Chandra Garg

Widespread anecdotal complaints of cash shortages at ATMs have been reported primarily in rural and semi-urban regions of these states. There is around Rs 18 lakh crore currency supply now, which is close to the circulation during the demonetisation period. The government has formed a state-wise committee and RBI also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other. Several leaders have also questioned the government over the fresh reports, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assuring that the ministry is taking all necessary steps to ensure ATMs are supplied with cash, and to get non-functional ATMs up and running.

At that point, every citizen had to go through huge inconvenience because of the sudden cash crunch in the market.

People of Vadodara reportedly said, 'Most of the ATMs were out of service, could only withdraw Rs 10,000 from one working ATM that also after spending a lot of time in the queue.' 'We do not know what or where the problem is but the common man is facing difficulty as the ATM kiosks are not dispensing cash. And the only party flush with cash is the BJP: "the people suffer".

Sample his statement: "The currency worth Rs 15,00,000 crore was in circulation before demonetisation".

The Finance minister has to say that there is no need of worry and that there is enough cash in the system. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days.

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Here are some reasons that may have caused the latest cash crunch in the states.

However, cash was being disbursed at bank branches as usual.

Many ATMs across Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, have no cash including two right next to the RBI office in Gomti Nagar. "Last week, we had sent cash through RBI to centres in North Gujarat and on Tuesday, we will be dispatching cash to Surat, where we've learnt of cash shortage getting severe", Singh added. He pointed out that the prime minister, while announcing demonetisation in 2016, promised "everything will be fine in 50 days, but it has now been more than 1.5 years, and there is still a cash crunch". Indian Express quoted one H. Purnima, a regional manager at State Bank of India in Vizag, as saying that all banks have been witnessing high withdrawals since November 2017 and that they were "unable to refill ATMs because people are not depositing in banks". In next couple of days, we'll have supply of about 2500 crore of Rs 500 notes per day. "16.5 lakh crore notes were printed & circulated in markets, but where are Rs 2,000 notes going?" It should be noted that several people who were using Paytm have now returned to cash after the KYC diktat.

Reacting to the situation, the opposition blamed the Government.